By Raymond Baguma
At least 30 young Ugandans aged between 25 and 35 years, have an opportunity to benefit from an initiative by US President Barack Obama to gain leadership mentoring in the United States of America.
The Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders is a flagship programme of President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) that empowers young people through academic coursework, leadership training and networking.
Fellowships will provide outstanding young leaders with the opportunity to hone their skills at a US university and support their professional development after they return to their home countries.
Ideal candidates from the Washington Fellowship are young people who have demonstrated leadership in the public, private and nongovernmental organization (NGO) sectors.
The online application process is presently open on www.youngafricanleaders.state.gov and applicants should have significant processional experience and proven record in leading and promoting positive change in their organizations, institutions and communities.
Fellows will participate in a six-week academic programme at a US university in one of the three study areas that include business and entrepreneurship, civil leadership institutes or public management institutes.
Mark Meassick, the USAID deputy mission director in Uganda said that to be eligible for the programme, one must be a citizen of, and resident in a sub-Saharan African country, proficient in English and demonstrated record in leading and promoting change, and not below 25 years of age and not over 35 years of age.
Additionally, the fellows will also have an opportunity to meet President Obama, leaders from the public, private, NGO sectors, as well as interact with one another. Also, selected fellows will be able to remain in the US for another eight weeks after their university programme to participate in internships in the US.
Already, there have been three Ugandan interns who went for the early phase of the programme and they include Arthur Tumusiime Asiimwe the principal researcher for the Kiira EV project as well as Grace Nanyonga and Rusia Orikiriza both of who are private entrepreneurs.